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September 15th, 2008, 12:00
Blacksmithing isnt necessary as it is possible to craft an excellent bastard sword with the default skill.

For fighting and survivability I'd recommend extra hitpoints, strength, and hunting to 130 for trophies. I'd probably spend in the order:

Extra HP -> hunting to 130 (for trophies) -> prospecting (for quests and money) -> strength for the first level of 2H weapons (the halberd reigns supreme against wildlife)

I wouldnt bother with smithing early on, it's only useful for a few late game quests and once you get to that stage you'll likely have points to spare (and have gained some from quests). You can craft a bastard sword that is among the best in the game with the starting skill. I wouldnt care about ancient knowledge or spells (except possibly heal) early on either since you wont have enough mana to cast more than one heal spell. If you do go for some AK you'll want to take the fast learner skill as soon as you reach 100. In mid-game (level 20+) I'd try to raise hunting high enough to use the better bows, as archery is the easiest way to deal with ogres.

Permanent potion brewing and the poison/disease immunities that require alchemy are immensely useful and pay back fairly quickly, so learn those as soon as you have the required alchemy skill. Just dont invest any LP in alchemy itself…

And I wouldnt bother with the highest levels of 1H and 2H skill since it comes with an annoying knockdown effect. This might change if the final patch changes the fighting system…
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